Abu Dhabi: Off to the best possible start with two wins on the trot, a confident Delhi Capitals will hope to keep the juggernaut rolling when they take on the winless Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL match here on Tuesday. Both sides have endured contrasting campaigns so far.
Delhi head in to the game after two morale-boosting victories. The Shreyas Iyer-led side edged past Kings XI Punjab in a thrilling Super Over before thrashing Chennai Super Kings comprehensively to jump to the top of the points table.
On the other hand, Sunrisers are the only side yet to register a win in the tournament, having lost both their games and David Warner and his men will be desperate to turn things around.
In their opening encounter, despite opener Jonny Bairstow (61) and Manish Pandey (34) putting Sunrisers in a winning position in a chase of 164, the team failed to cross the line.
Against Kolkata Knight Riders, the middle-order failed to fire and the team settled for a below-par total which the bowling unit couldn’t defend.
Wriddhiman Saha was particularly slow and would be expected to play an innings more suitable to the format.
For Delhi, the South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje has looked sharp with the new ball while spinners Axar Patel and Amit Mishra have performed splendidly in the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin suffered an injury in the team’s first outing and is likely to miss the match against Sunrisers.
“It is not a major injury, he bowled in the nets yesterday, he will comeback very soon. He is being monitored by physio, today again he will bowl at the nets. Maximum, he might miss one more match,” Amit Mishra said in a pre-match presser.
In batting, the onus will be on seniors such as Shikhar Dhawan to lay the foundation, and he will have the talented Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order for company.
Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer have also looked in good nick, after rescuing the team from a spot of bother in the first game, the two pitched in with valuable runs against CSK.
Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis has proved he is handy with the willow while Shimron Hetmyer can also compliment the strong batting line up.
For Sunrisers to do well, they would need to look beyond Warner and Bairstow. The side must click as a batting unit to post its first win of the season on Tuesday.
The 2016 champions replaced the injured Mitchell Marsh with Afghanistan off-spinner Mohammad Nabi, who played a quick cameo with the bat and also bowled an economical spell later.
However, with the batting unit letting them down in both outings, Sunrisers might consider bringing in Kane Williamson, who has recovered from his injury, to provide stability to the line-up. He would be coming in place of Nabi.
Sunrisers spinners led by Rashid Khan continue to impress but the side is lacking an out and out pace bowler who can hit the deck and push the batsman back off a good length.
Australian fast bowler Billy Stanlake is an option but with only four overseas slots available, his inclusion looks unlikely.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, Bavanaka Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, KhaleelAhmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, TNatarajan, Basil Thampi.
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (C), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmyer, Kagiso Rabada, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Keemo Paul, Daniel Sams, Mohit Sharma, Anrich Nortje, Alex Carey (wk), Avesh Khan, Tushar Deshpande, Harshal Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav....